Man United play host to Aston Villa in the Carabao Cup at Old Trafford. These two teams met as recently as Sunday, when Villa won 3-1 in the Premier League at Villa Park. It was new manager Unai Emery’s first match in charge, and he will be delighted to get a win under his belt so early. The Carabao Cup is unlikely to be a target for either of these two teams at this stage of the campaign, but Emery will no doubt want to maintain his positive start.
If you’re looking to back a bet on this game, you’ve found the right place. I’ve covered betting markets for goals, shots, and cards for both team- and player-specific selections. Just check out my Stats Pack Guide on how to use it effectively.
Martin Dubravka should come in as the goalkeeper for this cup match. Anthony Martial is expected to start up front, whilst the midfield duo of Fred and McTominay look set to be reunited. Harry Maguire and Lisandro Martinez could be the centre back partnership for Man United. Both Antony and Jaydon Sancho are doubtful, whilst Raphael Varane is injured.
The temptation with the Carabao Cup is to rest and rotate several players, but new manager Unai Emery might prefer to stick close to the winning formula that beat Man United at the weekend. Robin Olsen should get the nod in goal though, as is the norm for cup competitions.
The only confirmed injuries for Aston Villa are Coutinho and Diego Carlos. If there is to be any rotation then the centre back spot seems most likely, with Calum Chambers replacing Konsa or Mings. In midfield, John McGinn will probably be given a chance from the start, but the front trio of Buendia, Watkins and Bailey are likely to remain in the side.
Man United have scored an average of 1.38 goals per 90 mins, which is some way below their xG of 1.57. They are underachieving at the business end of the field.
Somewhat worryingly, they average more corners against (5.0) than corners for (4.08).
Their 6.08 average SOT per 90 mins is quite decent but they have conceded a lot of shots this season, a total of 12.54 per match which is quite high.
Opposition teams have not been picking up many bookings against them with an average of just 1.23 cards against.
Aston Villa only average exactly one goal per game but are another side underachieving their xG per 90 mins which is 1.24. It is worth mentioning that they are under new management. Unai Emery has only been in charge for one match, which was also against Man United in the league, and they won 3-1. Under the Spaniard, Villa might be a completely different prospect.
They have ranked fairly average for shots for and against. Their SOT average per 90 mins of 4.86 is quite poor.
Their 4.43 corners for per game are on the low side, probably influenced by the tactics of the previous manager Steven Gerrard who was quite narrow. They only average 4.50 corners against, which is certainly on the low side as well.
Player shots and shots on target
Of the expected starters, Marcus Rashford averages more shots per 90 mins (2.61), with Bruno Fernandes next on the list at exactly two per game.
There is limited data on Anthony Martial this season due to his lack of starts. He could be the enigma in this market and will be hungry to catch the eye after being out injured for a while.
Should Cristiano Ronaldo feature at any point, watch out for him trying his luck with several shots. He averages 4.29 per 90 mins and this is the type of game in which he’d try to be quite greedy and do something individual.
If Danny Ings starts, he must be considered a major candidate for shots and possibly for at least one on target. He averages 2.80 shots per 90 mins.
Coutinho is next on the list but is ruled out injured, which means Emi Buendia, who averages 2.21 shots per 90 mins will likely try his luck at some stage. He has a terrible accuracy though with only 0.41 SOT per match.
Ollie Watkins is Villa’s most reliable man for a shot on target with more than 50% of his attempts on goal.
Player goals and assists
Marcus Rashford leads the Man Utd scoring charts with four goals this season, but he has hardly been prolific. Brazilian winger Antony has 3 goals in 6 appearances but is unlikely to play here due to his injury concerns.
Martial again looks like a very interesting prospect because he has scored 2 goals and also supplied 2 assists in just 4 appearances. Again, it is limited data, but he might very well take this opportunity in the Carabao Cup to shine.
None of the Villa players have been prolific in font of goal this season. Ings and Bailey lead the scoring charts with three goals each, whilst Ollie Watkins has the most assists (3).
Both Leon Bailey and Jacob Ramsey got on the scoresheet vs Man Utd at the weekend so can perhaps take some confidence heading into this match. The Villa goalscoring seems very sporadic and random this season though, making things unpredictable.
Man United cards
The trio of Scott McTominay, Bruno Fernandes and Diogo Dalot all have 5 cards to their name this season and are serial offenders. McTominay averages 2.54 fouls per 90 mins and is the most obvious candidate to get a booking.
He will be operating against Jacob Ramsey who is the most fouled Villa player this season, in addition to one of their higher ranked dribblers.
Emi Buendia has an average of 1.92 dribbles per 90 mins. Against Dalot at right back this may well yield a few fouls and a potential booking.
Matchups to watch
Scott McTominay vs Jacob Ramsey
Diogo Dalot vs Emi Buendia
Bruno Fernandes vs John McGinn
Aston Villa cards
Of the expected starters, Jacob Ramsey is the most carded Villa player with four in 14 appearances. John McGinn has the most average fouls per 90 mins (1.78) and has picked up three cards this year.
Anthony Martial and Anthony Elanga are the most fouled Man United players and they both have the average highest number of dribbles per 90, with Martial leading that race at 3.57. Elanga could be matched up vs Lucas Digne, whilst Martial tends to drift a lot so could see various different coverage. Should Chambers start for Villa then this would be an interesting clash.
Matchups to watch
Lucas Digne vs Anthony Elanga
Calum Chambers vs Anthony Martial
John McGinn vs Bruno Fernandes
My Picks of the Stats Pack
There are a three or four selections that stood out to me when making the stats pack, and given they won in yesterday’s City vs Chelsea game I thought I’d leave them here again.
It’s come in at around 9/2 if you backed them all.
Manchester United vs Aston Villa
Anthony Martial has scored 2 and assisted 2 in 4 appearances.
Manchester United have an xG of 1.71.
Manchester United average 4.08 corners for, and 9.08 match corners.
Aston Villa average 4.43 corners for, and 8.93 match corners.
Aston Villa average 11.71 shots per game.
Manchester United conced 12.54 shots per game.
Ollie Watkins averages 2.07 shots per 90.
Manchester United average 2.77 cards per game, and their opponents another 1.23.
Aston Villa average 2.29 cards per game, and their opponents another 1.71.
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